BARMM inauguration reset again; new date is March 29

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 19 March) – From March 11 to March 21, to March 25, to March 29.

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 19 March) – From March 11 to March 21, to March 25, to March 29.

On its third week in office, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has yet to inaugurate the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and hold the inaugural session of the Bangsmoro Parliament, a schedule that has been moved four times as its leaders await the availability of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The BTA, the body that will govern the BARMM in the three-year transition period until noon of June 30, 2022, had actually decided during its caucus on March 9 that the inaugural will be on March 21, whether or not President Duterte would be present.

Group photo of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority with Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Carlito Galvez, Jr. and the last governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Mujiv Hataman during the turnover rites from the ARMM to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City on February 26, 2019. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

But during the National Peace and Order Council (NPOC) meeting held in Davao City on March 14, Ebrahim said the President wants to attend the inauguration but can’t make it on March 21. He confirmed his availability on March 25, Ebrahim said.

BTA members were notified on March 15 that the inauguration will no longer be on March 21 but “Monday, March 25, with President Duterte.”

Ebrahim informed the BTA during its caucus Tuesday (March 19) in Cotabato City, that the inauguration will be moved again to March 29 because that is when the President would be available.

“Gusto ni PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) mag-attend” (The President wants to attend), Ebrahim told MindaNews Tuesday night.

He said they were earlier informed the date would be on March 25 but he received a message from the PMS on Monday that the President’s availability would be on March 29.

A BTA member was reported to have said during the caucus that the BTA’s affairs “should not depend on the presence or attendance of the President.”

Malacanang has so far released the appointment papers of 76 members out of the supposed 80-member MILF-led body.

Of the 76 appointed, one passed away on March 13 – the MILF’s 1st Vice Chair, Ghazali Jaafar, who was supposed to have been the Speaker of the Bangsamoro Parliament.

Jaafar’s death leaves only 75 members.

The MILF nominated 41 while the government is supposed to nominate 39.

The MILF will nominate the replacement of Jaafar while government will nominate the remaining four members. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)